Saturday, December 31, 2016

Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!!

2016 was certainly a banner year around the Robinson house for our family.  We are so thankful that 2016 was a healthy year for all of us and we give God the glory for clean scans and great UVA checkups for Dave.

Here are some highlights from our year!

Youth events at church are always keeping us hopping.  Here was Hope at our princess tea party which was a fundraiser for our Nashville Mission trip.  Kyle and I had the opportunity during 2016 to serve at a nursing home and a refugee literacy center as part of our Week of Hope mission trip in Nashville.  We are excited because 2017 will provide 4/5 of our clan the opportunity to head to Charleston SC this summer for another mission trip.  Hope will not be old enough, but blessedly Mike and David will join us this year!
2016 was a year of basketball for our family! We certainly love our hoops around here! Lots of fun memories were made in 2016 in basketball gyms.
This past year Kyle has played on several AAU teams and he is now playing on his high school JV team.
Easter morning our three kiddos in blue:)
Springtime now means Challenger baseball for our family!  It is a family affair as Kyle is our pitcher, Dave plays, Hope volunteers as a helper buddy and Mike and I keep it going.  We adore these kids and we love our time at the field!  Thankfully we enjoy baseball because in 2017 Mike has stepped up to be the Little League president to keep our league going strong and to keep Challenger available to the special needs kids in our area.
This past year in 2016 Hope became a swimmer girl graduating from the developmental swim team to the LASO swim team!  She kept us busy in 2016 with her basketball, swim, and piano!
in 2016 we made lots of memories on Pops boat on Claytor Lake.  We love our lake time and we hope 2017 will also include many summer days at the lake.
This past year we enjoyed a leisurely cruise to the Bahamas with Pops and GG.  We love time together as a family to rest, relax and eat!  Ha!  Cousin Adam and Garnet joined us this past year and we had a geat time.  We also hosted Oma and Bob for a week in September.  If you ever go on a cruise they are serious about that rule about having a photo ID to return to your boat after a day on land.  Some of us learned this lesson the hard way.
In 2016 we were blessed with the opportunity to host families for Special Spectators at Virginia Tech.  We love volunteering for this amazing organization that we ourselves were blessed by when David was in treatment. We always meet the strongest and bravest families through our volunteering with Special Spectators.  In 2016 we also had the opportunity to start a summer feeding and literacy program through church for children in poverty.  It was an amazing 8 week program staffed by our youth group and it was a blessing to us all.  We are excited for the program to expand in 2017 and provide us an opportunity to serve more children.
This past fall Kyle started high school which has been a great experience so far.  Here he is dressed up for the homecoming dance!
In 2016 David was asked to be a model in the Cure by Design fashion show to raise money for the American Cancer Society.  Dave rocked the stage in his fancy clothes with Pops, GG, Dad and Hope to cheer him on.  I was home helping my boy get his tie straight for homecoming dance and plan a midnight  buffet for his friends after the dance.
In 2016 Hope became a tennis player with the help of Ms. Bennie.  This girl keeps us hopping!
The big news in the past year is that Dave was invited to play on an AAU basketball team and it has been such a blessing for him! What a precious sight to see him decked out in his uniform with his friends.
Kyle used 2016 to get better at his basketball game and it is showing this season.  I am sure 2017 will include many more hours in a gym cheering on our kids playing basketball.
in 2016 the AAU basketball bug his this little love too and she has joined a cute little team.  We even got to watch them win their first tournament a few weeks ago!  I love that our kids learn the valuable life lessons that come from being on a team.
2016 gave us the opportunity for David to participate in Buzz's Bunch events at Virginia Tech.  Words cannot express how thankful we are for the love that David has been shown at VT.  Here he is with Coach Buzz in a post game press conference.
We ended 2016 shopping and planning a great Christmas for the 43 kids our youth adopted through Santa's Elves.  This project is crazy and hectic, but it certainly provides a great blessing to end the year.  We pray that 2017 will provide us many opportunities to teach our own children and the church youth the blessing that comes from serving and loving their neighbor.

The best and biggest news of 2016 came when Mike won the Regional Superintendent of the Year award.  It was so amazing and emotional to watch him accept his award because frankly he was so deserving of it.  We knew when he received his award that God had provided another job opportunity for Mike and that he felt that it was probably going to work out.  Mike was a wonderful and tireless superintendent for ten years but it was time for a little less public and lower stress job which God provided.  In August he began his tenure at the Linwood Holton Governor's School.  He loves the challenge of his new job and we all love his lower stress level  and more time with us.  He has a more balanced life now which is a blessing to him.

We were blessed in 2016 and we cannot wait to see what 2017 has in store!  We pray that as a family we grow closer to God, look for ways to serve Him in our community and enjoy quality time with friends and family.  Welcome 2017!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Basketball Nuts


Most families would be posting blog updates on all the holiday festivities their family has been participating in.  Our family; however, has been spending the last few weeks preparing for Christmas between basketball games.  We certainly love our basketball around here and yesterday was a pretty banner day in this household.
We never dreamed we would be starting all over again in the AAU basketball circuit, but yesterday  I found myself back in the younger ranks of AAU cheering on our girl ball player.  Hope quit ballet this year to play more basketball and our girl certainly loves it!  We are not staking our retirement on her WNBA career, but this girl loves playing hoops! Yesterday these tiny ballers went to their first ever tournament.  We gave Hope this big pep talk about Kyle's first AAU game when he was in second grade and how they lost 42-4 in their first game and for her not be upset if they did not win.  Mike and I even secretly questioned if these little girls after only practicing for two months would even score against more seasoned teams, but amazingly they won their age division!!!!
Here she is getting her ginormous championship ring!  She was speechless and exhausted after spendng 11 hours in a gym playing a total of four games.  Notice her proud Pops looking on as she got her ring.  He and David made it in time to watch the championship game!
A team of excited girls ready to play and modeling their new uniforms!
David also had an amazing day at Virginia Tech with his beloved Pops, his Uncle Chad, Aunt Net Net, and cousin Clayton.  He was invited to participate in Buzzs Bunch Day at Virginia Tech. He got the chance to warm up with the team prior to the game.  They got to watch the team play against the Citadel and I hear David ate a hot dog or two!  Ha!
After the game David got to go behind the scenes and attend Coach Buzz's press conference!  He spoke so well!  Buzz asked him three questions and Mike and I were so impressed that he remembered the three questions, answered correctly, and used his best speaking voice.  That was HUGE for our boy!  What a treat!

Not only did David get to attend the post game press conference and speak, but he, Pops, and Cousin Clayton got to to into the locker room and hear Buzz address and pray with the players.  He then got to break the huddle down!! I hate I missed all of this, but I was with my baller girl and I guess Mommas wouldn't have been allowed in the locker room anyway.  :) If you watch the press conference it is so cute because David was exhausted after a big day and getting up at 6:15 didn't help and he looked like he was going to fall asleep!  We certainly love our Hokies Men's basketball team and Coach Buzz!
You know you are a tiny baller when your feet do not touch the floor when you are on the bench!  Ha!  These girls were so precious and never gave up! We know we now need to get our girl some knee pads and true basketball shoes.
We love our number 14 with her hands on her hips pulling up her shorts!
Our elf on the shelf put himself in a plastic box so he could attend the basketball action!  It was so cute to see these girls passing him around.
Not only has Kyle's JV basketball season kept him busy but this past week he played in a tournament in Bristol with his team.  Over four days he played three games in that tournament.  He loves his hoops as well and it was fun and exhausting to cheer on our boys.  Mike was with him yesterday for their final game in the tournament while I was with Hope and Dave was at VT.
Basketball is what Kyle loves the most.  He is learning a new position this year and is frustrated that he is not scoring more, but we are so proud that he has been given the opportunity to play different places due to his time spent in the off-season working on his ball handling.  Kyle is his harshest critic!

So for our family, instead of posting Santa pictures, cookies that we have baked, or a car full of presents bought, we post basketball updates!  Our bottoms are numb from hours spent on basketball bleachers, but we love every minute of it.  It is exciting to watch our oldest play high school ball, watch David have opportunities like Buzz's Bunch and his own AAU team, and to see our baby girl play a sport she was watched since infanthood.  We are also so thankful for our village of extended family yesterday that helped our kiddos get to their activities.  GG was with me for 11 hours in a gym and Mike was with Kyle.  It took Pops, Uncle Chad, Aunt Net Net and Cousin Clayton to keep up with David at Virginia Tech yesterday.  We are thankful for time together and for time watching our kids be basketball nuts.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Big Feelings Five Years Later

This week has been full of big feelings as we have faced the five year anniversary  from the day David was diagnosed with cancer.  Thanks to Time hop on facebook and the fact that November will always be different for me, I have relived lots of hard and painful memories this week from D-day at UVA five years ago.

Crunching leaves on a sidewalk will always remind me of those cool mornings walking from the Ronald McDonald house to the hospital trying to beat  the oncologist before rounds.  Thanksgiving break always reminds me of those days that David was recovering from surgery preparing to begin the battle with chemo.  There are so many memories floating around my head from those first few days where our lives changed on a dime.

So five years later here we are.  We are so incredibly blessed that our boy made it through the storm, and he is here with us.  He is a little beat up and scarred, but we are all stronger because cancer pushed its way into our lives.  Five years later we as a family understand what really matters and that list pretty much only includes God and family.

Cancer has made us laser-focused on raising our kids to be laborers for God's Kingdom and learning what it means to love our neighbor.  The love you all showed to us during the hard days changed us and made us want to be better neighbors back to you.  We want our kids to know that God comes first always and that our lives are meant to bring Him glory.  God was so present and powerful in those hallways of UVA hospital, that we were changed by seeing His glory.

I will never be bold enough to speak about how cancer changed Mike or our other kids-that is their story to tell not mine.  But as a cancer Momma who was blessed enough to be able to be bed-side with our boy constantly I have been changed.  I would never want cancer to enter our lives again, but I am so thankful that God used it to make me a better servant of His.

I am now bolder in sharing my faith because I know that Jesus is real, present and active in our lives.  and aching to be important to us.  He is our best friend, our comforter, our sustainer, and our healer.  I no longer feel the need to try to please man because I am here to please God and God only.  Not everyone will understand the changes I have been through and appreciate the newer me, but that is fine.  I want to raise my kids to be Godly servants.  I want to love my husband well and always honor my wedding vows. I want to welcome little preschoolers to their educational journey with a big hug and knowledge before they launch into "big school." I want to teach middle schoolers the amazing and life transforming story that is the bible and model for them how to put God first always.  I want to spend my life serving the least and the lost by showing the love of Christ.

So cancer, five years later you still are impacting us.  We never wanted you to enter our home but thankfully our God used you to teach us what is of value in this world.  Five years later I am still the same cancer Momma pouring my heart out on my laptop on this sared blog space, but today I can praise God our boy is still with us and that I am a new and improved version of myself.  To God be the glory today and always.  Amen.